Policy:Guiding Principles

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These principles were inherited from the open letter which lead to the founding of the project:

  • Disconnecting the population of a country from the Internet is a disproportionate and inappropriate sanction, since it hampers their access to the very information that might lead them to withdraw support for acts of war and leaves them with access to only the information their own government chooses to furnish.
  • The effectiveness of sanctions should be evaluated relative to predefined goals. Ineffective sanctions waste effort and willpower and convey neither unity nor conviction.
  • Sanctions should be focused and precise. They should minimize the chance of unintended consequences or collateral damage. Disproportionate or over-broad sanctions risk fundamentally alienating populations.
  • Military and propaganda agencies and their information infrastructure are potential targets of sanctions.

While these principles represent the starting-point of the project, they are not immutable, and may be refined by the community over time.

Established civil society organizations such as the Global Network Initiative have expressed similar principles:

"GNI supports efforts to sanction and hold accountable Russian government actors, as well as those abetting its aggression. However, some governments have been calling for retaliatory measures that are overly broad and would have unnecessary and disproportionate impacts on freedom of expression. GNI also notes with concern that well intentioned sanctions measures, as well as private and public campaigns, are exerting significant pressure on companies to withdraw products and services that help maintain information and communications network connectivity in Russia. It is critical to maintain infrastructure interconnection between Russian networks and the global Internet, as well as to preserve access for people in Russia to open platforms and services, so that they can continue to find spaces to organize in opposition to the war, report and share information about conditions in Russia, and have access to sources that are not controlled or restricted by Russian government censorship."